In September, the average temperature in St Petersburg is around 10C. If you visit early in the month, then you may find that it is still relatively warm. In late September, however, St Petersburg has a distinctly autumnal feel, with trees in the parks losing their leaves and the temperature much cooler than the summertime highs.
However, it’s still a great time to visit. All of the summertime attractions will still be open, including the Peterhof Fountains and the St Petersburg canal cruises. However, they will be far less busy than during the main tourist season of July and August. This has two main advantages. The city will be less crowded with tourists, and so you will spend less time in queues and also be able to see more of St Petersburg at your own pace. Another advantage is that hotels, restaurants and other businesses reduce their prices during the shoulder season; you should be able to have a more affordable holiday but avoid the coldest weather.
Autumn is arguably the best time to visit the parks in St Petersburg. During fall, the leaves of the trees turn beautiful shades of russet and gold. It’s a particularly good time to visit the gardens of Tsarskoe Selo, as you can enjoy a more peaceful visit than you would during the summer, and the colours are particularly striking.
If you are interested in cultural and historical St Petersburg, and are travelling without a family, then September is a very good time to visit. Although the White Nights festivals are over, the main theatre, opera and ballet programmes are beginning after the summer break. Attractions like the Hermitage and St Petersburg’s many churches are relatively quiet, particularly as most children will be back in school. If you are interested in a particular exhibit or subject area, you’ll be able to spend far more time and ask more in-depth questions than you would if you visited during the peak summertime season.
St Petersburg in September is a great place to visit in terms of the sights, culture and lack of crowds, and these things also make it a fantastic venue for a break for couples. Let’s face it – queues aren’t romantic, but exploring St Petersburg during one of the most beautiful times of year will give you and your partner memories that you’ll treasure forever.
If you are coming to St Petersburg on a Baltic cruise, then you will have a good idea of what to expect from the weather by the time you arrive in the city. If you’re in luck, you may get away with light, summery clothes. But it can also rain, too – even in the same day. You should pack clothes that can be layered – t-shirts and light fleeces, jeans or comfortable trousers, and take shoes that are relatively light but still waterproof and comfortable. You are very unlikely to need the heavy coats and boots required for the St Petersburg winter, but you should be prepared for the weather to be changeable.
In short, St Petersburg in September may lack the hot weather and immediate appeal of the White Nights, but has a lot to offer for those in search of a more relaxed holiday.
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